Friday, November 09, 2007

Are you to blame for Iraq?

If you are one of the 75% majority of the American public who thinks that the War in Iraq is not going very well then you probably also have some opinions about the reasons our military has not completely vanquished those opposing them there. You probably blame some or all of the following: inadequate planning for the occupation, too few troops, a misguided mission, bad decisions made by our leaders, social and historical factors that result in our best and brightest young people not volunteering to join the military, our history of supporting unpopular repressive undemocratic regimes, our unquestioning support of Israel or other factors involving Washington insiders and the military-industrial complex. You probably have never entertained the thought that you might be the one to blame – your doubts, your lack of complete support for the mission. The idea probably seems absurd, if for no other reason than because those making all the decisions show no indication that they pay the slightest attention to what you think.

Well, hold onto those thoughts because, if history is any guide, at some point in the not too distant future people are going to suggest that our troops could have prevailed in Iraq if they had not been stabbed in the back by people back at home. As absurd as that idea seems at the moment, unless you make a special effort to never forget how you feel right now about the war, you might find yourself being swept up by this scapegoating. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.


Ellen Beth said...

I read your post with interest because I have written extensively on the responsibility of citizens to keep informed and demand better of their leaders. I'd not lay the blame exactly as you describe (and I think, warn against), but I would say if people kept informed and demanded better quality government, we might not be in this mess. It was too easy for Bush to scare Americans into agreeing with his war and now his torture and spying on us. Congress saw those early Bush-favorable numbers and it still leaves them paralized. I get republican commenters on my blog actually cheering for what we would have considered to be facist or Soviet dictatorship in the past, calling my urgings to stick to American and Constitutional principles "marginalized" and "dangerous". I even see some Ddemocrats afraid to come out strongly in favor of the constitution. Ben Franklin sure knew what he was saying when he said "a republic if you can keep it."

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:

Dave Barrett said...

Thanks for the comments ellen beth and rosecovered glasses. I dashed this blog entry off quickly this morning before I went to work and did not do as much rereading and revising as I usually do. Rereading it now I see that it does not clearly express what I originally intended. But the fact that this blog entry has gotten such interesting comments makes me wonder if I should more often write ambigously rather than strive for clarity as I usually do.